Why is there so much contradiction when it comes to keeping or making our schools safe? While I do not believe having an armed guard at a school is the answer to safety for children and schools, I do not think reading about the mayor of Philadelphia and the Governor of New Jersey and how they angrily attack the idea of armed guards in schools, then reading in the same newspaper or news release that their schools have armed guards is the answer. These two politicians are presenting such a contradiction of ideas and beliefs, and I am sure there are other governors and mayors who are vehemently attacking the IRA and armed guards being placed in the schools yet we read in the newspapers about armed guards being placed at their schools as well. Why is there such a contradiction of ideals when we all should be focused on creating a more safe environment and agreeing on ideas about what can and should be accomplished?
A uniform approach and less political posturing are needed. We have experienced horrific events at Sandy Hook Elementary and Columbine High School. We do not need politicians who are posturing for re-election or furthering their political careers to be using the safety of our schools as a political issue.
Clear thinking and reasonable solutions are what is needed. Conversations about real solutions and remedies for this horrible trend have to be had. Conversations that involve all stakeholders and not just politicians can pinpoint real solutions that are based on real situations. Research is telling us that our schools are much safer now than a decade ago.
The conversation should focus on what is working and how to make real choices and improvements that will continue to improve the safety of our most precious national resource. Instead of new gun regulations that would most likely not prevent a mentally unstable individual from entering a school and shooting students and teachers, a plausible approach would be to look at policies that have already proven to be successful and add to or improve upon those policies.
Marcia Bolton, Ed.D. is an Associate Professor of Education and the Director Certification, Student Teaching and Intern Programs at Widener University Chester, PA.